A coolie,20 while working at the manhole of a large petrol tank, apparently over-
come by the petrol fumes, fell into the tank, the bottom of which was covered with
petrol to a depth of not more than two inches. One hour later, he was removed from
the tank and was at once taken to the Indian Military Hospital, Quetta, where he was
Fig. 180.—Burns from petrol fumes caused by the deceased
falling in a petrol tank wagon.
(From a photograph lent kindly by Dr. H. S. Mehta.)
found quite unconscious. His pulse was imperceptible and breathing was laboured.
Blisters, most of which had burst, had already formed on every part of his body, much
more than half the superficial skin area being burnt. The patient's clothes were all
soaked in petrol. He was kept in the open, and oxygen inhalations with injections of
strychnine and digitalis were given- Four hours after he was removed from the tank
he regained consciousness, was very restless and complained of severe thirst, to relieve
which copious draughts of water were given. The temperature was 97 °F. The pulse,
80 per minute, improved in volume and tension. The respirations were 22 per minute.
The patient did not complain of pain. There were no signs «£ oedema of the larynx,
the lungs were clear, and the urine was passed freely and was free from albumin. The
burns which were of the second degree were dressed with half per cent picric acid
solution. On the following morning small discrete ulcers were seen, to be forming on
both cornese. On the third day he developed severe diarrhoea, which was readily con-
trolled with bismuth salicylate. On the fourth day the eye condition was much worse,
the eyes presenting the appearance of traumatic conjunctivitis with lachrymation and
photophobia, and with superimposed dermatitis of "die lids. The dull, greyish-white
necrosed areas on the comeae spread until the whole surface of the corneae was involved.
There was no perforation but considerable shrinkage of the eye balls. On the fifth day
the general condition of the patient was very much worse, and from that day he went
rapidly downhill and died on the ninth day. ^
The symptoms produced by the ingestion of the products of petroleum, especially
kerosene, are a burning pain in the throat, feeling of warmth in the stomach, thirst,
20. Cruickshank and Chowdry, Ind. Med, Gaz., June 1930, p. 320.